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Crypto Exchange

Coinbase Considers Buying Asset Manager Osprey Funds

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Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas said that the firm is preparing to expand the categories of financial services it offers to its users.

One of the leading cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase is currently in talks to purchase Osprey Funds, an asset management firm, two insiders have revealed.

One of the insiders revealed that the negotiations are ongoing. Though he added that it is still very much informal but it is at an advanced stage.

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When Osprey funds were asked to comment on this development, the asset management firm refused to confirm or dispel the rumor. On the other hand, a spokesperson for the publicly traded crypto exchange said that the leading crypto firm does not comment on “rumors and speculation.”

It is important to note that the Brian Armstrong led company has recently been acquiring new firms into its fold. The firm recently purchased crypto-asset companies such as prime broker Tagomi, infrastructure shop Bison Trails, and data platform Skew. All of this are in a bid to improve its services and add more features.

According to a report from TheDechained, Coinbase CFO Alesia Haas said that the firm is preparing “to expand the categories of financial services it offers to its users in the hopes to become the primary financial account in the crypto economy.”

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Also, the crypto company also recently announced a $1.25 billion offering of convertible notes and its April public listing has shown that Coinbase is deep-pocketed and has the financial capacity to settle most of its acquisitions.

While the sources were able to confirm that the deal is yet to be finalized, acquiring Osprey would be in line with the earlier reported comments of the firm’s CFO. Asset management would be a new ground for the crypto exchange which already handles billions of dollars in institutional assets under its custody

Interestingly, Osprey is quite renowned for its bitcoin funds. Though its funds pale significantly against that of Grayscale, which is one of the largest in the industry. Osprey has around $155 million worth of assets under management (AUM), GBTC, on the other hand has over $35 billion in its AUM.

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The asset management firm recently pioneered the launch of an innovative Polkadot trust product that would be investing exclusively in DOT, the native token of the Polkadot network. This is a first of its kind product in the crypto industry.

The firm’s CEO, Greg King, at the launch of the product had said that “Osprey is just getting started and would launch a series of trust products tied to different cryptocurrencies and tokens.” However, he declined to provide more information concerning other products the company might have in its sight.

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Grayscale

Grayscale’s Top Executive Joins Robinhood as New Chief Compliance Officer

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Robinhood hires a new CCO, the chief compliance officer of Grayscale

Robinhood brokerage app has welcomed Benjamin Melnicki as a new Chief Compliance Officer, who is also the holder of the same position at Grayscale Investments. He joined Grayscale in early January this year.

At the moment, Robinhood’s cryptocurrency arm is facing scrutiny from financial regulators. Last year, Robinhood was a target of an investigation connected to anti money laundering and certain cybersecurity problems experiences by its crypto division.

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As reported by U.Today previously, later this year, the brokerage firm plans to roll out cryptocurrency wallets for its users. The trials of wallets will kick off in October and will allow customers to deposit and withdraw cryptocurrencies to addresses beyond Robinhood seamlessly.

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Crypto Exchange

Average Aussie crypto portfolio grew 258% in FY 20-21, survey reveals

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The average portfolio size on Australian cryptocurrency exchange BTC Markets has grown from $577.65 (795.5 Australian dollars) to $2,069.16 (2849.5 AUD) in the financial year 2021, signaling a 258.2% increase in portfolio holdings, according to exchange data compiled by Statista on a recent BTC Markets survey.

Data on the survey shows that the average portfolio size of female and male investors in fiscal 20-21 on BTC Markets was $1,924.30 (2,650 AUD) and $2,214.03 (3,049 AUD), respectively. However, in 2020, the average portfolio size of female Aussie investors exceeded male investors slightly. 

Transaction data on the exchange also showed a pattern of growing investment demand with aging. Considering the data provided by BTC Market on Australia’s average initial investment, investors above 65 years old have invested roughly $3,158.03, the highest ofall demographics.

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Following an incremental reduction across the various age groups, the youngest cryptocurrency traders, ranging from 18 to 24 years, tend to make comparatively small investments, standing at $792.96 on average. While older Australian crypto investors outweigh the new generation in initial investment, the younger crowd shows comparatively more activity in terms of daily trades.

Resonating the findings above, a September report from financial comparison website Finder shows that one in six Australians own cryptocurrencies, amounting to $8 billion in total investment. The report suggests that, like many other users in advanced industrialized countries, Australians were increasingly viewing cryptocurrencies as a new asset class. 

According to Cointelegraph’s report on the matter, Bitcoin (BTC) is the most popular cryptocurrency for the Australian crypto market held by 9% of investors. Other popular investments include Ether (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The report showed that, despite the growth in crypto investments, a significant barrier to entry for Australians is the difficulty in understanding crypto and the risks related to volatility.

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Switzerland to Impose Anti-Money Laundering Rules on Crypto Providers: Report

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FINMA requires all cryptocurrency providers to step up their game and monitor whether criminals use digital assets in illicit transactions.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority – FINMA – would reportedly require local digital asset providers to take additional steps in preventing criminals from employing cryptocurrencies. The watchdog would also turn its sight towards bitcoin ATMs as it believes that drug dealers often use these machines.

FINMA Targets Criminals Operating with Crypto

According to a Finews report, Switzerland’s financial regulator – the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority or simply FINMA – would closely supervise local crypto providers as an attempt to clamp down on money-laundering transactions.

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Swiss platforms and brokers dealing with digital assets would have to enhance their monitoring efforts and observe if bad actors employ cryptocurrencies. The Bern-based watchdog believes the initiative is “urgently necessary,” stressing that criminals use the asset class even to fund terrorism acts.

FINMA also turned its attention towards bitcoin automated teller machines. According to the regulator, drug dealers frequently use such ATMs as payment systems. It is worth noting that Switzerland is a relatively small nation, but its 130 Bitcoin automated teller machines place it in the sixth position among the countries with the most stations.

FINMA also passed an anti-money laundering provision according to which it lowered the threshold for unidentified crypto purchases from 5,000 Swiss Francs (CHF) to 1,000 CHF (around $1,080). Or, in other words, all financial providers dealing with digital assets have to collect data on anyone initiating transactions that exceed this amount.

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UBS: Crypto Regulations Could Spell Trouble

One of the leading banks in Switzerland – UBS – recently shared its views on the hot topic of digital asset regulations as it indicated that implementing certain rules might negatively impact the market.

Furthermore, the bank warned its customers that regulatory crackdowns can pop the “bubble-like” crypto markets. The Swiss bank also labeled the asset class as “speculative” alerting that it could be dangerous for professional investors:

“While we can’t rule out future price gains in cryptos, we see this as a speculative market that poses significant risks to professional investors.”

On another note, though, when the cryptocurrency market was booming at the beginning of May, UBS demonstrated a different attitude. Back then, it intended to enable its wealthy customers to receive digital asset exposure later in 2021 through third-party vehicles.

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